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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  October 28, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: the economy grew last quarter. the eu reached an economic agreement and the stock market jumped and consumer spending was you up -- up as well. that said, what is your confidence level in the economy? good morning. the phone number on the screen --
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one is "usa today's" article this. down and little further in this article --
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that is a little bit from "usa today" this morning. again, we want to talk to you about the economy and your confidence in the economy. "the wall street journal" editorial --
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again, that was "the wall street journal" rating -- writing about the economy. george, what is your confidence level on the economy? caller: here is the problem, peter. what we have had over the last
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several years, actually decades, falling wages in the face of rising worker productivity at all levels. we are producing more, working harder, and receiving less pay. we have a wage gap. you have to prop up the economy with artificial demands, meaning even more debt or propping up the area where wages should be. if we don't have an environment where employers are competing for workers, trying to give the employer's choice instead of, i hate to say it, employer of last resort, we will not have a healthy economy. skill level and education is not going to be a panacea because if everybody became a phd it would not raise the median income one penny. but that is what we need -- we don't need the same amount of
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businesses hiring more people, we need more business start-ups so we can have businesses competing for workers. i will close on this note, peter. host: you know what, george? we will let you close on that note. robert tweets in -- facebook,en several is already this morning. very quickly, what is your confidence level in the economy or are you confident in the economy? david says, why should i be? donna says, only going down. sebastian makes this comment on facebook -- the next caller comes from texas.
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hi, mr. peterson. caller: i am fine. try to get through to you for a while. really glad to get through. host: how is mrs. peterson doing. caller: making coffee. finally did take -- getting wintertime in texas. host: i was down there last weekend in austin, and it was hot. it was 90 degrees down there. caller: we are about 48 this morning and it will go into the 70's. looking good. host: what is the economy like where you are right now and what is your confidence level? caller: the economy here, peter, is pretty good. caller: we are growing. used to be a small city. host: why bean think it is? caller: i don't know. i really don't know the answer, peter. host: what do you think about your governor running for president? caller: bad move.
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caller: we don't want him to win, peter. he has done too much in texas. caller: he has done a good job in texas. i want him to stay down here as governor. host: we will talk to you in a month. anthony is a republican in north dakota. caller: hello. i just would like to say that it seems like everything just keeps getting worse and due to the fact that the government keeps a running in -- butting into the economy. hello? host: we will leave it there. jean on the democrats' line. caller: i am almost losing my mind. since they stopped the cost of living increase for social security i am getting ready to
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sign my third lease on the 15th of november. and each year it is going up, up. my rent is going up, up. everything is going up, up. and everybody is talking about cutting social -- discontinuing social security. we have already paid for two years of decrees. -- decrease. nobody is saying the benefits of not getting a cost of living decrease for two years. where is that money going? host: thank you for calling in this morning. president obama has an op-ed piece in "the financial times."
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again, this is the president's rating in "the financial times writing in "ent the financial times." dean, what is your conference this morning? caller: i live in a little town springfield. it does not seem to be bothering it -- towns like springfield, they seem to be growing. representative black from tennessee, he was talking about when he turns 65 you've got to
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go on medicare. you do not. i turned 65 on the fifth of this month, and i chose -- i got two different letters from social security asking me do i or do i not want medicare. i checked that i do not. so, i have not heard any more about it. you don't have to take it. but he said as the law you have to take medicare. you need -- she needs to get her facts straight. host: you remain in the va system, correct? caller: since the 1970's. i am a vietnam vet. host: that will keep you throughout your life, you will stay in that system? caller: that is right. they kept me alive since the mid-1970s. i mean they actually kept me alive. host: ok. we sure appreciate you calling
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in. congratulations on turning 65 and thank you for watching. jersey city, new jersey. jacob is an independent. caller: ok, first of all, it takes money. savings takes from the circular flow. it sends people are taking their savings and putting their money out there -- six people are taking their savings and putting money out there, it can increase. fourth quarter, business comes out the economy and consumer spending on christmas gifts. but our whole problem with this economy now is the politics. once the politicians get together and start working as patriots for this country, everything will work out. as long as they are bickering --
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that includes the administration and especially congress -- that is holding the whole economy at bay. >> rick is a republican in ohio. -- host: rick is a republican in ohio. hello? . galipolis? caller: uh huh. i don't think the economy is doing so well. i cannot find an incentive to save. people spending some much because you can't make interest on the banks. the stock market, you don't know from day to day what it is going to do. that is the end of my comment. host: thank you for calling in this morning. in "that bill" newspaper -- -- in a "of the" newspaper --
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that is in "the hill" newspaper, as was this article --
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one article before we go back to calls. this is an "the politico." they are looking at the top 10 senate races and they say virginia is the top race, followed by massachusetts, montana is no. 3, and missouri as number four. john brunner and clare mccaskill there. in nevada, the race is rated as no. 5. hawaii is no. 6. the former governor london lingle is the republican in that race. the next call on the economy comes from gary, indiana. arthur, independent line. caller: good morning. appreciate your allowing me to take this time to express my opinion. have muchll, i don't
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confidence in the economy because we don't really have any leaders. i look at the leaders, and they don't have much confidence in it because they continue to get increases in their pay, they continue to get money from other sources and stacking medaka in such a way -- stacking the deck in such a way. you lead by example. if you feel this is going well you cut your pay some and quit telling the people to cut theirs. tighten their belts and you are not taking your spare i -- tightening yours. host: california, republican line. caller: good morning. i know here in the state of california we have all sorts of different programs right now, all sorts of money to illegal immigrants. be it through school funds,
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programs, and all sorts of other things, and unfortunately there is no money left here for the people who were born here and raised here. so, i really don't have any faith and the economy. as the caller before me said, we don't have any leaders or anybody in office who can actually stand up for what we need and what we want. host: thanks, michelle. a couple of tweets -- another tweet from lee -- chrisnbama --
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hampshire. , new ron is a democrat. caller: how are you doing this morning? i believe the economy is may be starting to improve a little bit. we got into a big hole, the large companies reeling -- the banks really mess things up and if they repeal the dodd-frank and killed all of the regulations we are going to get back into the cycle again. they are going to take advantage of things and as the economy back up. i think dodd-frank has lots of regulations and i think between that and enforcement, i think that is what wall street needs. and the republicans in the congress have been doing absolutely nothing except for trying to get obama out of there. but obama, anything that comes from washington or the senate, it is just dead on arrival when it reaches congress, whether it is good or bad for the economy
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or bring in different. it does not matter, all they can do and just say no. but at least obama is trying to do something. congress is doing nothing sitting on their hands and vetoing everything that comes across their desks. host: very quickly, a couple of political questions. where is chesterfield and have you seen any republican candidate coming through? caller: i have seen the republican candidates. not too terribly impressed with any of them. chesterfield is like southern new hampshire, on the border of vermont. host: near nashua? caller: south. host: are you seeing ads on tv? caller: getting inundated with telephone calls, polling calls from the republicans and democrats. it is all starting. but i don't see anything changing until visa election and then hopefully congress
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exchanged and maybe we can get something done. host: one final question -- sorry about this. any word on the dates? has a date been set for the primary? had he seen any news? caller: i have not. i have not. host: ron, thank you for calling in. at the newou hampshire primary, whenever it may be. shakira from trenton, new jersey. caller: i have two reasons for having confidence in the economy. number one, i think the occupy wall street movement that caught fire all across the country. i think if those people who were inspired by the folks do i standing up for us on the streets will vote democrat across the board so we can change congress and get some action finally out of congress, that will go a long way toward supporting the president's jobs program.
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number two, i think it is in these times, these economic times, when there is a transition on the economy, people are becoming entrepreneurial. i went to an apple store and it was the busiest store in the entire mall. people are really looking to be their own employer these days. that is what inspires me and gives me hope that the economy will pick up. i think the 2.5% growth that they saw in consumer spending really came from the folks at the top. those people are spending like drunken sailors. they are the ones spending like drunken sailors and not the president. host: did you buy anything at the apple store? caller: no, i actually went to get my son's mac repaired. host: bill tweets in, the resonant statistician --
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-- resident statistician. from "the politico", fcc chairman julius genachowski succeeds in internet overhaul. this will be one of the topics we talk about this week on "the contenders" with a guest from verizon. a couple of things we will be covering today. bill clinton is in town, talking about clinton economics.
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this will be live on at noon. rick perry is speaking at "the new hampshire paper" -- talking to "manchester union leader." go to and set the schedule. vice-president joe biden is in florida tonight and he will be live at 7:30 p.m. on c-span2. he is campaigning in florida. finally, our continuing series, "the contenders," is live from new york city looking at the career of thomas e. dewey. our own greta will host the program from a suite of the roosevelt hotel in new york city where mr. do we watched the returns in white -- mr. dewey watch the returns and end of
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being defeated by harry truman. 8:00 p.m. on c-span. from "the guardian" newspaper in england.
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this is an "the guardian" newspaper in case you would like to read about all account. that's your calls on the economy. logan is a republican from new your city. what do you think? caller: i just wanted to make a comment. i understand people's frustration in this economy. it just seems a little bit odd to me that people want to focus on barack obama and the immigration and all of these other sort of scapegoat type figures, while yesterday it was announced exxonmobil's and will profits were up 40%. i would like to get 40% return on my savings right now. it seems like the corporate machine that keeps on grinding. and companies are actually doing well. too bad that it really does not trickle-down to the individual.
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thank you. host: a couple of facebook comments. anthony says -- "the wall street journal" this morning --
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and this is the front page of "the baltimore sun," their lead story.
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again, that was an "the baltimore sun" this morning. linda, democrat. new york -- california. caller: good morning, c-span. thank you for taking my call. i am optimistic. i believe the economy will get back on its feet. and i do believe that president barack obama will be a two-term
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president. it takes time. congress is fighting us. a tooth and nail. they will let and it -- anything passed. everything is dead when it's there. i am optimistic because i have a plan and went to the white house and went to homeland security and it is there and it will put back 10% of our population to work and take our deficit down. and we the people, it is going to secure, from any identity fraud, pervert's getting on line to our children, it will hold accountability to computer users for what they do it legally. host: we will leave it all right there, linda. hudson, texas. wesley, a republican. caller: good morning. the main problem i see is there is no shortages in this country for coffee, milk, eggs, any of this stuff. you go to the stores, 30% to 40% increase in prices.
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they use the excuse that fuel costs have gone up, so we have to go up on the charges to you. the people don't have the money to pay this kind of -- $300 for $100 worth of groceries. it is a crock. it is the oil companies and nobody will do anything about it because it is the oil companies. host: "the new york times" --
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that is in "the new york times" as is this article -- >> caller on your confidence in the economy comes from joe in dumfries, virginia.
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go ahead with your comments. caller: yes? host: you have to turn down your volume. john, republican from hot springs, arkansas. caller: good morning, peter. it is always great to watch c- span in the morning. i am always confident about our economy. and that is because i have short, medium, and long-term goals for helping the economy. my short-term goal, this weekend i am going to occupy the golf course in glenwood country club in southwest arkansas. midterm goal is i am going to occupy social security at age 62 in april of 2012. and my long-term goal, i am going to occupy national parks in america traveling in a motor home. let's help the economy. everybody, spend all the money
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that he got. have a good day. host: good luck with the golf course. bob from venice, florida, e- mails in. and this e-mail from stored in tennessee. -- stuart. finally, carlli in minnesota. next call comes from gilbert, arizona. line. the democrats' caller: i have little hope that the economy will improve enough to produce jobs. and i really do believe the
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heart of the issue is all of these trade agreements. especially with china, who manipulates the currency to the point that we cannot compete, and our leaders out there will do nothing about that. and it would not surprise me they are benefiting personally from that. by the way, this competition with, like, china, has nothing to do with the wage a difference because labor only accounts for 5% of the cost of the product. and they must pay for the transportation of the product here. let me make one last point. to make a difference here, economically for us, and get our ship going correctly, in regards to entitlements, that we are going to make all of these cuts, i want to define this correctly. entitlements are things that the government, the congress people did to themselves, all of these benefits for just serving a
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couple of years. that is what should be cut. things like social security, which i paid all of my life for everybody else did since the age of 16, that is money that i put in. if they are going to start messing with that -- i want my back in cash. host: this tweet -- from "the hill" --
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that is an "the hill" newspaper. this is from "the washington post."
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this is an article and analysis in "the washington post." the front page of "the new york times" this morning, obama backers tie it to lobbies raise millions.
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dayton, ohio. marianne, what is your confidence level in the country? caller: i think we all want to have confidence but i am in the boehner's district taking care of two elderly parents. write down the street from them was a delphi plant that was torn down several years ago -- sorry, they laid off a couple thousand workers a couple of years ago and now in boehner's district, they tore down the evidence, that there are 2000 jobs less than their work. the other day out of curiosity i went down to the occupy wall street march in dayton, ohio, and as i walked around i talked
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to a retired cargill worker and he kept wondering why his son's pay -- even not work there, but why his pay was the same as what he made at cargill 20 years ago. and then i talked to a gm worker who had been laid off and he was still looking for a job. host: you know what, maryann? bring this all to a conclusion. caller: i think that times are tough and i think republicans keep standing in the white -- their focus is taking out obama and not what is best for the american people host: -- for the american people. host: thank you for calling in. i want to let me know what is happening on book tv, american history t, c-span2 and on c-span three this weekend. this weekend, knoxville, tennessee. it posted by comcast, our local
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content of vehicles locations in knoxville to celebrate the history of literary culture of that city. here is a little bit of mayor daniel brown talking about the history of the current day makeup of knoxville. >> knoxville is a city of about 178,000-plus people. it is a city that had divided loyalties during the civil war. a lot of people were pro-union. some were for the confederacy. knoxville is a city where football is very big with the university of tennessee. we have a 100,000-seat stadium. with a population of about 178,000-plus, and it is full every saturday when they have a home being -- home game. it is a city that has its own
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unique style and flavor. you have people here who are descendants of scotch irish. in the african-american population is about 17%. in some cities in the south we have majority black population, if you go further west in this state, in meant this or nashville. if you go back to the history of this area, because of the hilly, rocky land, there was not a lot of need for slaves and you did not have cotton, you had some tobacco, so you didn't have a large black population. that has really transcended until this day. since i am the first african american mayor of this city, i guess my biggest challenge is to just let people know i am the mayor of all of that city. and that i tried to have a
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balanced approach in that regard, so that when my term is up, people will say, well, he tried to be fair. that isn't one of the things i tried to do as i am serving as -- that is one of the things i am trying to do as i am serving as mayor. join us in this weekend on book tv on c-span2, american history tv on c-span 3, as we've featured a history and literary culture of knoxville, tennessee. here is the front page of "the financial times" just to let you know what they thought was the most important article of the day. "the wall street journal" this morning -- and this article in "the new york times" --
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next call -- louisville, ky. gene is a republican. what is your confidence level in the economy? caller: actually, i have very little confidence we will get the economy turned around. one observation on my part, for the past 35 years or so, it indicates we are near the last phases of replacing this government. it appears as if you want to replace a government -- if you want to replace a government, you must prove to the people the existing form of government does not work. our politicians have done a very good job of that over the last 35 years. you see it everywhere. i would hope that somebody would do something to get to the root cause of our problem. unfortunately, i just don't see
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that. thank you for your time this morning. host: how is that a big ford factory doing in louisville? caller: it seems to be doing good if you read the paper and if you look at bell local news media -- at the local news media. i think that is a shining example of maybe something that is going right. it is too early to tell. we will see. host: "bloomberg business week" magazine has this chart. on october 31, the u.n. bank population fund estimates the world population will reach $7 billion on october 31. and a g-20 summit begins in france in cannes on november 3. the president will be attending that. november 5, one year out from the election, there will be a gop straw poll in illinois.
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and november 6, nicaraguan elections and president ortega from the sandinista liberation front is favored to win election. that is all from "bloomberg business week." of illinois, chad on our independent line. you are the last voice in this first segment. caller: well, hi. i am glad i got on. can you hear me? host: just go ahead and make your comment. caller: i am glad i got on. i am where the national average is way lower than any other part of the nation. as far as unemployment. but anyway, i am a veteran, and i see all of the veterans coming back, that is going to be a positive thing as far as getting jobs and stuff. however, i am very fearful of the future of this country as far as us becoming a third world
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country in the future if we keep going where we are going. china is a superpower, and we have a free trade but it is not fair trade. the employment rates are going down. we need to tap into our natural resources we had in the united states and quit being so dependent on other nations like china. host: we got to leave it there. thank you for calling in this morning to c-span. i want to remind you, this evening live at 8:00 p.m., the continuation of our "contender" series. tonight thomas e. dewey, 1944- 1948, republican nominee. and the program will originate from the roosevelt hotel in new york city, in fact, from a suite where thomas dooley watched the
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returns in 1948. that is tonight at 8:00 p.m. coming up in about 45 minutes, former vermont governor, dnc chair, presidential candidate howard dean. he will take your calls. coming up next, john mica, the chair of the house transportation committee. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> i don't want every story to be 1800 words. >> last month, jill abramson became the first woman to hold the post of executive editor at "the new york times."
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she believes the "times" is more replaceable than ever but sees changes. >> sometimes a point is repeated many times in a story or there are three quotes making the same point where one would do, and i would like to see a variety of storylines. >> she will discuss her career, her new book, and the future of "the times" sunday night on c- span's "q&a." >> spend this weekend in knoxville, tennessee, with book tv and american history tv, and look behind the scenes at the history and the real-life of the marble city. book tv on c-span2, the
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university of tennessee's body farm has four acres of decomposing human remains. a real-life see a side. also, a look at "routes" author alex haley -- "roots" offer. and on american history tv on c- span 3, a visit to the sequoia birthplace museum. an escalation on how and india silversmith successfully created a system of writing for the cherokee language. also, a visit to a secret city. of bridge laboratory historian on their part on the development of the atomic bomb. is it a true southern city? the history and future, saturday at 11:00 a.m. and sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern. watch on book tv and american history tv on knoxville, tennessee. >> middle and high school
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students, it is time to get your cameras rolling for this year's studentcam video competition. make a five-eight minute video on this year's theme, the constitution and you, and get it to seize in by the deadline of january 20 it and you could win the grand prize of $5,000. for complete details, go to >> "washington journal" continues. host: now on your screen is chairman john mica of the house transportation and infrastructure committee. chairman mica, each of the major committees was asked to give their recommendations to the super deficit committee about where they would cut or what they would like to see done in their areas of jurisdiction. one of the things that in your letter you recommend it was no increase in user fees. why? guest: we are opposed to
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increases in taxes. there are some user fees that might be suitable. right now our primary source of funding in transportation is the gas tax. that is 18.4 cents per gallon. everybody pays that per gallon. in washington. we have had problems -- cars travel further, but that means they are paying less. even if you increase it to, say, $5 a gallon, which we would not do, and nobody is using gasoline anymore, you're funding system has collapsed, so we are looking, scrambling right now to find other ways to fund transportation. our leadership is committed to funding it at at least current levels. we considered initially looking at just spending what is within
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the trust fund, trying to live within about a $35 billion that comes in a year. bus -- but that would really take you down to 25% and we really did not have a good reception, even if you could take the money and leverage it and get more for less. but we are hoping probably to have the transportation bill as one of our centerpieces of job creation, and we think -- and the proper investment of money can put people to work quickly, and our bridges, roads, and other parts of our transportation system need that. host: what user fees would you consider having increased, and first of all, what are user fees and which ones would you consider? guest: one of my recommendations that i made is looking at some of the psa -- tsa charges and i made some recommendations. i helped tsa rights, but
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legislation and it was anticipated 10 years ago to be a much smaller agency. we had a user fee that is $5 maximum on a ticket. $2.50 each way up to a maximum of $5. and the airlines are supposed to pay about a billion dollars a year, which is the cost they had expended to conduct that. i recommend that a committee to look at adjusting that. at the taxpayer is now picking up 65% of the cost. the fee is paying about 30% of the cost of the airlines are paying about 5% of the cause. that is one area. now we are up to $8 billion. i am a strong advocate, too, of rightsizing and redirecting the mission of tsa, but that is one example of a user fee that could be adjusted, and some revenue.
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host: what about gas taxes? guest: i think that is off the table. you know, president obama closed down of the transportation bill -- mr. oberstar and die, -- and i, while we disagreed on the gas tax, and many around the country and associations and industry did it -- but we had a pretty good agreement to do a very substantial bill, and obama came in and said even he would not support that. so, that is off the table for the president. it appears it is off the table for congress -- the house and senate. speaker boehner and leader cantor are working to try to find additional revenues, maybe from some oil revenue sources where it can be a little more predict -- predictable and
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adjustable so it is not always diminishing. you drive further and you pay less, it does not actually work. it has to be equitable. so, we are looking at a way to fund this because, again, with all of the schemes they come up with, probably nothing between now and election or next year will put more people to work than a sound transportation bill. and we can do that on a bipartisan basis, i believe. host: chairman mica, if the deficit reduction committee does not come to an agreement, automatic cuts will go into effect. well that heard transportation? guest: i don't think it will. we operate pretty much from a trust fund. i've got the 18.4 cents coming in, $35 billion a year. i have some other revenues. it is not just 18.4 cents -- trucks pay a higher rates. so, we work from a trust fund. and we are and authorizing committees.
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so, we often rise how that money could be spent. the problem is spending levels have been hired, and we actually proposed a whole bunch of ways where we can get more for less, leveraging our money, making the programs that don't work, work, and then another important thing is the process. but we did -- we did send our recommendations. these are our recommendations to the committee. a lot of them are based on this report, which actually we did when we were in the minority about a year ago. and it is an interesting title. it says "the federal government must stop sitting on our assets ." each of the activities overseas -- public buildings, highways, rail, and we recommend ways we can do better. host: and here on the week -- here are the republican polls
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souls to the deficit reduction panel from the transportation committee -- the republican proposals goals to the deficit reduction panel. what is the essential air service program cost us a year? guest: we are up to around $200 million a year. it started out as a small program -- it was well intended. there are some areas that do need help. they need air service. a couple of our states, hawaii and alaska, absolutely essential to them. but it is going to where we had this recent flare-up -- i
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a bill that i hope author in 2003 and expired in 2007. the had complete control of the place and it could not pass a bill. we had a 17-piece bill extensions. when i became share, agreed to two more, and then i said that we had to stop that. i did take on essential air service. it's an example of a government program that's gone a little wild. yes, i got a little sensitive in nevada. they subsidize the one airline ticket $3027 per ticket. i stopped subsidizing all tickets in excess of $1,000. it only affected the new mexico, montana, and nevada. i get a bit of nerve.
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they did not pass my extension. they blame me. they have plenty of time to it until two weeks later, they finally went to the senate floor and passed it. i think that was not the best way to do things, but i do the same thing again. we have got to get some of these programs working. the aviation industry accounts for about 7% of our gdp. we have not passed a bill in four and a half years that sets the policy, funding, and project priorities. that is what i did. host: one more issue before we go to phone calls. ed rendell was on this program talking about something called an infrastructure bank. >> if we did infrastructure right, it's not hundreds of thousands of jobs, but millions
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of jobs. the infrastructure bank is important. one, it would make decisions on projects of regional and national decisions based on merit, not the old political system of who has the most powerful congressman or senator. that is important to get public confidence back in. two, as the president said, it would access private-sector dollars. they want to invest in american infrastructure projects, where there is a rate of return, and the infrastructure bank would be the way to do that. the president talks about capitalizing it at $5 billion per year. that is important. there has to be federal participation to act as the leverage for bringing the private funds in. it is absolutely needed and necessary. the president should do it quickly. >> national infrastructure bank. guest: well, i agree -- well,
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infrastructure banking. we have looked at the proposals. the president mirrored some of that in his recent recommendations. we have taken a hard look at that. first of all, the purpose of that is to get projects moving quickly and people working. a lot of people are hurting in this country. to create a national infrastructure bank, look at the legislation. i went over it with senator ker ry this week. even his staff said it would probably take one year to set up. it requires presidential appointments and senate confirmation. then you have to set up the staff -- you have to set up the rules of the game. the costs to run it could be $270 million. 33 states already have infrastructure banks. we held a hearing on the president's proposal and they
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said -- give us the money. we have the structure in place, but we do not have the money. that's the first thing. what federal programs already give loans and loan guarantees? we have the transportation infrastructure financing. that is already set up. it does have some problems. the level of federal participation is at a max of 33%. we can increase that. we can adjust those. we have in place a loan guarantee program. minor modifications -- i can get this thing passed. we could get projects going as soon as we passed that bill. it would probably be a year or a year and half with a national in washington.
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people want jobs now. is our guest, a republican from florida, currently in his 10th term. john is a democrat in ohio. you are on c-span. caller: i have a question. how did mitch mcconnell get so much power? why are the democrats afraid of one senator and the president? i just do not understand. host: we will start off with a political question, mr. mica. has heard sure he that many times. mitch mcconnell is a powerful person because of the senate rules. the senate has rules that require basically 62 per seat for unanimous consent and to
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move things forward. when you have less than that, he has power, and he exercises it, as anyone with a number of votes he has. host: the next call comes from riverside, california. david on the line for democra republicans. caller: this is david from riverside. my question for you is about the transportation problems we have in california. about that.t's talk $8.5 billion per year to do what -- i have no idea. they have new vans. i am disgraced. parkedns drivers are po on the side of the road doing nothing. if we cut the budget, we will
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save billions of dollars. that's my comment. guest: we do not have a whole lot of say over caltrans. they may get some federal grants, but it is pretty much a california operation. our committee oversees amtrak. that is one of my targets for a vast improvement. we could do a lot better there. we have made some reforms. what we can do, and i will ask my committee staff to look at caltrans operations. if there's federal money involved, we can get involved. usually operational will come from a state budget. you know, california has plenty of money, so they do not have a problem finding waste and inefficiency. just a joke. host: a tweet. wire the jobs created by it bemulaus money allowed to
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outsourced to chinese companies? guest: i do not know about that and i would like to hear more. i tried to oversee the stimulus money. we pledged to do that in a bipartisan matter. i'm not happy about the way some of the money has been spent. some agencies have done a good job. faa has done a great job in getting the money out, and also responsibly. i do not know of any instances. we will investigate that. it will be a pursuit. i will make a note of that for our staff to check out. host: robert, new york city, you are on with john mica. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: regarding the title that is on the screen, deficits and transportation, i'm wondering why there is such an emphasis in this day and age on the
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development of high-speed rail. obviously, high-speed rail is a phenomenon that applies as the occupy wall street people would say, to the 1%. a lot of the use of the high- speed rail is things that could be much more easily handled simply by teleconferencing, saving fuel and saving large outlays of money. i'm not quite sure what the purpose of the president's emphasis on high-speed rail to catch up with japan is. guest: ok, good question. i am an advocate of high-speed rail. some may find this strange. i'm a republican advocate of mass transit. the projects have to make sense.
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uild high-speed some are excited when i heard obama was supportive of high-speed rail. however, he took $8 billion and put it into the program. congress added another $2.5 billion. the problem is, amtrak hijacked about 76 of the 78 projects. some were to know where. wisconsin sen the money back. my state send the money back. you need to build high-speed rail where it makes sense.
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i advocate the northeast corridor, which is the only area that amtrak and the government owns. if i can get people on another note, i can free up some of our airspace. it could have a great cash flow. that makes sense. building systems to know where -- building systems to know does not make sense. host: carl, please go ahead with your question for john mica.
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caller: i am all for spending money for infrastructure. anytime the government gets involved in handing out contracts, they force the companies to pay according to davis-bacon. this day and age, if you can hire two people for $per hour -- $15 for our instead of hiring one person for $30 per hour, it looks to me you could repeal this act until we get back on our feet. guest: repealing the davis-bacon is almost an impossible given the votes in the house and the senate. you do want to come in some places, some standards for wage payments -- the gentleman came from berkeley springs, west
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virginia. there is a great example where some of the federal standards may not make sense in a smaller or rural communities. i emphasize. i went to the university of florida. i'm not an harvard graduate, but i can do the math. i think it would be more fair and equitable to give some relief to some communities where the standard does not make sense. you still want to have wage protection. the gentleman points out a problem. >> mr. mica, this session of congress is coming to some kind of a conclusion. a lot of the deficit-reduction committee -- will take a lot of the oxygen out of the legislative session in the next month or two. what type of legislation before see being able to get passed?
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guest: i'm committed to it already -- i am committed. i already stirred things up with the last extension of faa. i will not sit idly by. the other folks had the watch for four years for the faa. they did not pass a bill. they did little extensions that left the whole agency in disarray. it left safety programs for aviation on the floor, basically, just languishing. i'm going to get out an faa bill one way or another. that will add to jobs and employment. i worked pretty well with mr. ray hall from west virginia and other democrats on the committee. we have an obligation to the american people to get that done. that's under our purview.
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four and a half years. that's crazy. the next one to tackle -- a responsible transportation bill. the bill expired two years ago. i inherited it nine months ago. we did an extension to march. i do not want to go beyond march. we need people working. we need programs that work to get people to work. people have lost their homes. i did a call-in town hall. a lady was foreclosed on the same day i did the call. it just about had everybody listening in tears. that has got to stop. we have got to get people working. in my state, construction is difficult to reveal looking at 10% unemployment. i have one county with 16% unemployment. it's even greater than that. a lot of that is construction.
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for every billion dollars, you can hire between 25,000 to 35,000 people. think about that. that's nearly 1 million people working. instead of paying people not programs thatese do not work for a short-term transportation, they are doing sidewalks or repaving. there's nothing wrong with that, but the job runs out when the money runs out. we can build this country on our infrastructure. we have to make the right investments and pick the right projects. the guy said, "what are they building high-speed rail in the middle of nowhere for?" the federal government does not build anything.
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we need to be a reliable partner. i am looking at some projects in new york better in the billion dollars. if we pass a two-year pill, it's like closing down those projects because the money is not there on a dependable basis. we are taking that money from people and then sending it back, but they cannot even depend on us sending it back on a regular basis. host: savannah, georgia. john, democrat, you are on with congressman mica. good morning. caller: good morning. you referred to the president as obama. when you said mr. mcconnell, you said leader mcconnell. you know, you need to give the president some respect and referred to him as president obama. that's my first comment. why is it republicans, when they
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come up, they all go in lockstep with the republicans to defeat the president's bill? guest: no disrespect meant to president obama. we often say "obama" or "the obama administration." no matter who the president is, of both parties have to respect him. i would not exactly say "in lockstep." there are some differences of opinion on both sides of the aisle. this year, i will be married 40 years. same woman. practically every day we have a slight disagreement. here we have 435 coming from all over -- i think well intended people. you work it out. it's not as neat as a dictatorship.
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we have to work it out. sometimes they all rely on the brinksmanship. we can do it. my committee is fortunate. it is a fairly bipartisan committee, but even there you have your disagreements. host: why is congress only meeting 109 days next year and why is the jobs bill being shelved? guest: i do not set the schedule, but i think the time you spend here should be quality time. they've tried to get more time for people to be back in their districts with their constituents. i think that is helpful. it helps the members of congress they in-tune on the ground. you cannot go home and not get input from your constituents. i think people have spoken very loudly and their voice resonates
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when they have the most contact with their representatives. most of. are -- most of them are district work periods, as they're called. i do not think we have shelved the president's bill. in my committee, for example, the infrastructure bank, we have set a hearing. you try to see what they have proposed. if you have a better idea, you try to get the votes. i have a certain amount of time by the end of march to get a transportation bill out. i think that should be a cornerstone of our side of the aisle. everywhere i go, democrats and republicans want a transportation bill. we all want the same thing, to get people working, to get projects moving pre we have got to get the policy in place and work with folks, finished the hearings. as soon as i can get votes to
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the floor -- also, we have to get money there. it is very difficult when you have the super committee looking for cutting. it requires a cooperative effort. also, somewhat above my pay grade, i have got to get the leadership involved on both sides of the aisle. host: this article in "the new york times" -- "congressman will run in florida." i think mack will be a formidable candidate. just by his name and his dad's name recognition -- a very well- respected family and a great game in politics.
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i think it moves into the front of their race pretty quickly. we'll have to see how he does financially. the others are not as well- known. he has an advantage. host: have you endorsed for endorsedyet? guest: i have not. host: do you plan on it? guest: i do not know. i heard governor romney the other day. he did a great job. speaker gingrich is probably one of the sharpest people on issues in the nation. i also have support in the past four gov. perry -- for governor perry. i do not know cain. michele bachmann has had a few
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problems in launching. who else? johnson. mr. santorum. we have some good candidates. i love to listen to them. i've never heard so many debates. i think there's a good way to choose from. host: this picture in "the wall street journal" this morning of one of your colleagues in florida, margo rubio being touted as potential vice- president. guest: you never know. marco probably has one of the best careers for anyone his age. he did a great job in the state legislature. of course, he blew everybody away in the senate race and very well respected. if you ever get a chance to hear
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him speak, he is one of the premier orators of our time. host: this tweet for you, mr. mica. guest: well, as many as i could. the longer i am in government, the more i am an advocate of the private sector. let me berber's that. if you own some property -- let me reverse that. if you own some property, maybe some rental property or a federal building, would you turn that over to the government to manage? almost everybody would say, "no ." we oversee all public buildings. they have buildings that have been empty for decades. there's one right down the street in washington that's costing the taxpayers $10 million per year. it is four hundred thousand square feet. that has is an an nex
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been empty for over a decade. in a couple of weeks, we will open bids to have the private sector take that over and put in hotels and retail space and put 1000 people to work and pay into the federal government over $10 million per year could we can repeat that 10 times across the country. this city is full of vacant building. the national gallery of art will pay $250 million to renovate it with private funds. i cannot get the idiots -- excuse the phrase -- to look at that and consolidate a building. we could save another $200 million. that's half of $1 billion. this is the kind of stuff that
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drives me nuts. we held a hearing in that empty building in february. it was 35 degrees outside. all theled in bureaucrats. sitting on your assets -- a great piece that is online. host: this would be available on your web site. guest: that is the house transportation committee. look it up. the best ideas we get are not from washington. like the guy -- we will look at caltrans. the china stimulus -- stimulus we will see if those things materialize and go after them. that's our job. host: edward is a republican in massachusetts. guest: i did not know there were
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any republicans there. caller: there is one. i think you are doing a good job unwanted to comment on the stimulus. i do not believe a one-shot stimulus works. i am encouraged that there is a desire to have uniform spending 31-shot spending does not work. as soon as that goes away, the jobs go away. it does not really produce anything. this one-shot stimulus is wasted money. as far as addressing our real problems right now. absolutely.
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thest: president obama's right now is sort of like a mini-stimulus. he did go up some. only $63 billion out7 of out87 -- $63 billion out of $787 billion is for stimulus. if you do the same thing and it does not worked, i do not know if you know this, peter, but there's 35% of the money from two and a half years ago for the $63 billion for infrastructure. 35% is still in washington in the treasury. they cannot even spend it because the process takes seven or eight years to approve a federal project. they just woke up a couple of weeks ago and said, "well, maybe
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we should speed up some of these projects" and they approved 14 projects to expedite. there are 14,000 projects. they should all be expedited. roads to wilderness and environmental issues, you want that properly handled. most of this is an existing right of way. most of it, when we put in the improvements, we are improving the mitigation for runoff and for the environment. we proposed cutting this time for approving these projects in half or less and not doing away with any approvals or regulations. you can shorten the approval time. what we proposed, you can see that they can all be done consecutively. this is our proposal. here, they do it concurrently and it takes seven or eight years. even president obama chuckles when people say "shovel ready" because they have found it does
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not work. freeing up 14 projects for the entire country is almost a joke. you have got to speed up the project. it's not how much money you throw at it. the gentleman is right. we made mistakes on the stimulus. sahme on us if we repeat that again. people want jobs now, not while you sort through some federal red tape and go through approval, marge to washington a year and a half from now when we set up a new bureaucracy, a infrastructure bank, let's use a little common sense. host: robert is a democrat in st. louis. caller: hello, c-span. you say infrastructure -- should be sent back to the states. guest: as much as possible, as
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opposed to creating a new entity. caller: i do not understand why you would want the money to be sent to the states when the stimulus money was passed -- that money got sent back to the states. after the states did not spend the money as intended, like presidential candidate rick perry, he spent the money to pay down his deficit. why would that be a good idea? guest: i do not know exactly what you are talking about in texas. we can check that. i get the list of how the stimulus money was spent and the projects that were approved. the problem that i pointed out -- again, we have this little charts. a lot of the money still stayed in washington. very little money of the total money spent, $63 billion, even
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went for infrastructure. i do not have a problem. the federal government does not build anything. we do not build anything. it is one of our expenditures. the federal government does not build anything. host: do you have an agenda for next year? guest: well, again, but by december 31, i want president obama's four-year faa bill. that's a big part of it. december 31 of this year. by march 31, i want to have a six-year, not two-year, --
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president obama undermine the democratic chairman and said he was always a party 18 months. that was a killer. that probably cost them the election. if they have the votes in the house and senate, i would be the minority leader of the committee. you could have put people to work. all these other things -- let's make up a bill, program, or new barack receive -- or new bureaucracy will take a long time. again, i will be in new york next week looking at some of the projects. $8 billion, $6 billion, $13 billion projects that are done in a day or a week. it's not like a sidewalk that put in and you spend the money in the job is done. that's what we have done in the last two years a lot.
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people want long-term jobs. we need a long-term commitment. it is their money paid into that trust fund or paid into washington. it is getting it back out there. again, the states will take this on, or local governments. host: lake butler, florida. phil on the line for independents. guest: i might have some constituents there. host: good morning. caller: good morning. the answer you gave the last caller is sort of what i would like to ask. i would like to ask this a little bit different. there are a lot of interstates in this country that need work. every time we buy gas, we pay federal sales tax on the gas. guest: the gas tax, yes. 18.4 cents per gallon. caller: where does that money go? guest: it goes into the trust
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fund. that's what i do. i do not raise taxes. another committee does that. my say as the chairman of transportation -- we set the policy so it is returned to the states and we return the project or types of projects that the federal money is eligible for. it basically sets the priorities, the transportation priorities, for the country. interstates are a big one. i hope to free up some of the interstates. right now, the right of way on the interstates -- sometimes they were built in the 1950's and 1960's. we can expand some of that. that's another asset we are sitting on, but we do not have the federal policies to approve public-private partnerships. i favor keeping all the interstate roads toll-free
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. we could be building lane's end extra capacity pre we have done that in an experimental basis. some will be based on tolls. some will be cooperations with states. we can do that and then speed up the process. i always go back to this chart. seven or eight years to do an improvement on the interstate. we are just dealing in paper work. we should be able to move forward and make a decision. we have made a decision. now let the states go forward with expanding the capacity. that is what we hope to do. a lot of people are counting on us. host: "the washington post" article about the air-traffic controller who was involved in the close call for michelle obama. guest: there are some poor
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performing air traffic controllers, just like there are poor performing members of congress, or people in other professions. we have got to do a better job on recurrent training. i think there are a lot of good air traffic controllers. i want them to have the best technology. i just got back from canada last friday and solve their air- traffic control system. in four or five years, they have changed out all their consoles. at most of their consuls, they do not have a single one in canada. we need to move forward. here is our faa bill, stuck four and a half years. we are dealing with paper strips and they have automated their whole system. you should see the working conditions for the air traffic controllers. they have nap rooms. they have exercise rooms.
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the have facilities for their air traffic controllers. most of the complaints i get -- the roof is leaking or some other mold or problem. that some of the way it should be. we can and must do better for our air traffic controllers, both their trading and their working conditions. i think we can. steal some other people's good ideas and do a better job. that's the great thing about our country. we are innovative. the government shackles semi- removed. host: john mica, as always, we appreciate your being on the "washington journal." guest: great to be with you. thank you. host: "washington journal" will continue in just a few minutes. ♪
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although this headline proved --se, dewey's the fate of follow the career of thomas .ooleewey "the contenders" from the roosevelt hotel in new york city, tonight on c-span. >> spend this weekend in knoxville, tenn. with the book
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tv and american history tv. the university of tennessee's body farm, four acres of decomposing human remains. also, a look at "roots" author alex haley. on c-span3, a visit to the sequoia birthplace museum. also, a visit to secret city. steve stowe on the lab's part in the atomic bomb. saturday at 11:00 a.m. and sunday at 6:01 p.m. eastern. watch throughout the weekend.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we're back on this last friday in october of 2011. we are having just a little bit of difficulty with our studio in burlington, vermont, where governor dean will hopefully be joining us in a minute or so. in the meantime, we will do some open phones as we're waiting for those technical things to resolve themselves. we've talked about a lot of talk did >topics this morning. whatever you would like to talk about as far as public policy goes, we would like to hear from you. you can also send us a tweet.
8:42 am you can make a comment on facebook, if you would like. to i want to point out this chart that was in "the wall street journal" this morning. this is commerce department figures. good, but not great. the u.s. economy grew 2.5% in the third quarter. you can see how growth has increased in 2011. still not on the levels of 2010 and 2009, driven in part by consumer spending. this is consumer spending is contribution to gdp growth. 1.54% of that 2.5% gdp growth came from consumer spending, but it goes on to say that adjusted for inflation, after-tax income shrank in this quarter by 1.7%
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tree that was in "the wall street journal" this morning. here is an article in "the financial times." "tensions have risen in protest camps around the u.s. as police and authorities have tried to remove demonstrators from public spaces, leading to mass of arrests."
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"organizers in new york are trying to strengthen their organization and formalize their political demands." that's all in "the financial times" this morning and we begin our open phones with the phoenix, arizona on the line for democrats. guest: hi. how are you? host: we have not heard from you in a long time. guest: i gave up on c-span because you guys willing to far to the right for me. you are like [inaudible] host: like what? guest: like fox light. i will give you an example.
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host: yes? guest: your school buses always go to the bread states. your book fares are in the red states. occasionally california. i know you say fair and balanced, but that's ok. the truman-dewey thing you are going to do -- i was 11 years old and my mother took me to the polls. she was voting for truman to i remember that so well. we were all surprised. everybody was so sure dewey was going to win. when truman won, my mother was ecstatic. she was really thrilled. you know, another example --
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host: do you know what, beverly? i have to end its there. it has been a while. did not give up on us. coming up in two seconds is governor dean, former presidential candidate and former dnc chairman. he now joins us from burlington, vermont. governor dean, how do you think the president is doing? guest: am i the perfect antidote? host: you could not be better. guest: the president has been doing graces the jobs speech. he has got everything down to three words, which is what you have to do. pass this bill. we cannot wait. he's doing great. he is out there and his numbers are getting better. he is leading in ohio, which is a very important state for us. who can complain? host: you said since the jobs
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speech, governor dean. there have been reports that progressives and liberals have not been satisfied with the president. do you agree with that? guest: this is the fourth quarter. when i was chair of the dnc, i used to say we were going to elect a democratic president and then we would hold their feet to the fire. this is the fourth year. this is where we get serious about reelecting the president. this is not a referendum on the president. this is a contest between two people before anybody who is a progressive person, there's not going to be a serious contexst. what the republicans are representing -- they say they are against big government, but they are very for it comes to decisions about reproductive rights and things like this. this is a pretty straight up battle. it will be a close election.
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it will be a tough election. i think we will have differences of opinion with the president even after he is reelected and we will have more fights. host: governor dean, who are you more fearful as a democrat? guest: i try not to play that game. i am not very good at republican politics. i think it's a very interesting thing. i've never seen the republican party have a primary like this. usually the establishment gets their way and i think they will again this year. i think it will be mitt romney. i've never seen the grassroots of the republican party put up such a fight. it is quite amazing. host: last week in "the washington post" you had a column on the electoral schedule. what is the essence of that? guest: basically, the primary schedule is a bit of a farce. the states jockey -- can
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always rely on florida and new hampshire to cause a fuss, and they do. we have dealt with that very toughly. i was a little disappointed in the republicans for not being as tough did we have got to put a stop to this nonsense. what we did four years ago was to say that anyone who moved to their primary outside the zone outsid-- they would lose all the delegates. we made that stick. the republicans backed off a little bit and so forth and so on. the states do not really have a right to decide. that is up to the national party. i think we worked out something very good. we added nevada and south carolina. our party is very diverse. we wanted primaries where african-americans, latinos, native americans, asian americans, would have a role that was larger.
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the florida folks and the michigan folks thought they were going to pull a fast one and they would not let them do that. you have to be tough as nails about enforcing the system. the primaries have a right to decide. that has been adjudicated by the supreme court. host: dr. dean served as chairman of the democratic national committee 2005 to 2009. what you think about the early ness? guest: this always happens. moving the primaries back one month was a good idea, but republicans were not able to make that stick. they're back where they were when i ran in 2008 and 2004. i think it would be better if they started in february, but that is really up to the current chair., -- current
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host: annie, you are on with howard dean. annie is a republican. caller: like the lady, i am as much of a complainer as your biased towards the left and she is to the right. maybe even it out. a suggestion for congress -- i'm talking about both the senate and house. if they cut all of their salaries by 10%, it would be a very good thing to do. it would save us a lot of money. if they started to pay taxes on some of the benefits, the extra benefits they receive. a lot ofhere are 1 federal workers. do the same thing. it is something that worries all of us. if they would do that, it would
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be a good symbol. it would not solve the problem. if they go through each thing -- there are so many that just pay money out for nothing. they've been going on for years and years and years. there's no oversight. host: governor dean? guest: i kind of agree with that. not the exact specifics, but i would like to see them on the same social security system that everyone else is in. i do not know why congress exempts itself from social security and has a different pension scheme. i'd like to see them get the same health insurance as everyone else does. then they would be living in the real world and it would not be talking about cutting social security and medicare all the time. i think your caller is on the right track here. i think she said a lot of good things and i agree with many of them host:. host: 34, louisiana. lee roy, go ahead.
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caller: i have a few things i would like to point out. first of all, everybody pays taxes. you pay taxes on your house. you pay taxes every time you go to the store. you pay taxes if you rent or buy something. anything. this idea that there are people out there that do not pay taxes is really erroneous. i wish it would be cut out. everybody pays taxes. income taxes, everybody does not pay income tax. that is entirely different. guest: first of all, i agree with your major point. i think it is incredibly disingenuous for certain parties to say that half the people in america do not pay the income tax. that's not true. if you work, and most people in america still to work, you pay payroll tax.
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that's a stiff one. if you do not work for yourself, it's about 7% for social security. over and above that, if you work for yourself, you pay 16% in social security. you pay 1.5% for medicare. of this idea that there's a lot of hard-working people who do not make much money that to not pay income taxes is not true. the reason warren buffett's secretary pays a higher percentage of her in, then warren buffett is because payroll taxes take a big bite out of most people's income in this country. i agree with you. i think this nonsense that half the people do not pay income tax -- it's just a perpetuation of the war on middle-class people in this country. thank you. i appreciate you pointing that out. host: markets in -- marcus in hilo, hawaii, go ahead.
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caller: thank you very much. "washington journal" hosts are the ultra-marathoners of cable- tv news. dr. governor dean, i believe, we have an interesting race shaping up for u.s. senators since the longtime u.s. senator has chosen to retire. we have the former two-term governor facing off against either the former lieutenant governor -- host: what do you think about linda lingall in the race? caller: to pair face -- to
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paraphrase john mccain, i think she will be thim. basically, they were both very lackluster in the house. she proved that she can work bipartisan. as you know, for the last 45 years, all ye has been totally controlled by democrats. there was one republican in the state legislature. come on. host: we got the point. howard dean? guest: i do not know much about the race. i think it will be a great race. i would be happy to take the other side of that bet. host: fairfax, virginia. rick is a republican. go ahead. caller: last year, if 20% of that is wasted, that's $1 trillion. we also had about $2.5 trillion
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of indirect cost by government for regulatory tax system and excessive legal system costs. there's probably $1 trillion of waste there. $2 trillion of waste in government-related costs each year, and that's more of the accumulated wealth of the bottom 50% of the population. after just a year and half, it's more than that thanplus -- more than that group plus the top 400 richest people in the country. host: what is your point? caller: we are wasting more and government-related cost in 1.5 years than the accumulated wealth than the bottom people plus the top 400 richest people.
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guest: a lot of people think the federal government waste money, but the truth is, there are reasons for every program. that's why they have not been cut. that's a bipartisan problem, not just a partisan problem. george bush cut taxes, but they never got around to cutting spending, which is one of the reasons the deficit is so enormous. of course, the same thing goes on under democrats. -- the real first of all, i do not know how you got to those numbers. what i would consider wasted money at the federal level -- the problem is, nobody can agree on what is waste and what is necessary. i kind of like the idea. i think this joint commission will probably fall on its face and it will not agree with each other. i kind of like the idea of having this approach. people just will not vote against a particular special interest that you and i might think it's a waste. you might end up with stuff in the budget that you can probably afford to get rid of. for every dime we say is waste,
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there's somebody there who thinks it is essential. that is the problem. host: governor dean, an op-ed in "the l.a. times" says a third party is likely because of howard schultz of starbucks -- that could hurt president obama in the reelection effort. guest: a serious third-party is not likely. certainly, if there is one, hope it will not come from the more progressive side of the ideal. all you will do then is elect a right winger or at least someone who will be beholden to the right wing and i think that will be a problem. i am in favor of having a third party in this country at some point, but i'd like it to be a legitimate third party. you do not start a third party in this country -- many people have proven this -- by running somebody for president


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